Condors

I. CONDORS FLYING
WE watched the Condors winging towards the Moon,
A Moon that glimmered in the blue daylight;
Around us were the Andes, and beyond
Andes, the Ocean, empty like the Moon.
I heard you speak in Atahualpa's tongue:
Then distances grew present; all the range
Of Condors' wings between my thought, your thought:
As though they had transcended need for wings,
We watched the Condors winging towards the Moon.

II. CONDORS IN THE JARDIN DES PLANTES
To sink into the depths we need take weights-
Put on such armour as our divers use;
To rise above the fathomed we must bear
Weights, and you are weighted for emprise
Of rising to where flows the thinnest air,
And here beneath our towers you roost and run,
And trail your wings. I think I know your pain,
Your pain and weariness!
Like divers are ye that perpetually,
Plated in metal, make circuit about
Where some sidereal gesture has withdrawn
The tides, the main-
Condors with shuttered, iron-heavy wings!

by Padraic Colum

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